I love this time of the year! Not only because September happens to be my birthday month (and seriously, who doesn't love birthdays even if it does mean getting a little older??), and that September means the hottest days of the summer are (usually) behind us--giving way to refreshing subtle fall breezes and the changing of the leaves.... I do love September! But September is also a favorite month because of all the fresh garden veggies that are ready for picking and enjoying. There are few things better than going out back to the garden, picking some delicious tomatoes, jalapenos, and anaheims, and going back inside to make a tasty meal. We have been getting an abundance of these over the past few weeks (okay, okay, August is nice, too!), and our garden has been especially fruitful this year. Bear in mind that I have no green thumb. Usually I'm just happy to see a plant grow, let alone actually get produce from it. But this year has been great! The wee little anaheim pepper plant that we gently nudged into the ground back in May is now nearly five feet tall! Maybe this doesn't mean much to all you true gardeners out there, but it impresses me every time I see it.
Anyhow, with the exciting success of our garden this year, I have had an abundance of tomatoes and peppers. I've already frozen multiple quart-sized bags of tomatoes just because I couldn't keep up with the consumption (and harvesting has only just begun...). One of my favorite things to make this year (okay, one of Casey's favorite things to eat this year) has been fresh pico. Not knowing what "pico de gallo" actually translated to, I looked it up and found that it means "rooster's beak." Hmmmm....
So I'm going to call this quick little recipe "salsa fresca", for no other reason than I'm not sure I get poultry reference. ;)
5 - 6 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 Jalapeno pepper, diced (I remove most of the seeds and pith--our jalapenos have been pretty hot)
1 cup assorted diced peppers (we have sweet banana and anaheim peppers growing, so I've been using these)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
salt to taste
Once you've got everything chopped, all you need to do is add together all your ingredients, and you're good to go! So simple, I'm not sure it's even fair to call this a recipe, but that's our little secret.... This recipe has been tested at a recent gathering; no one even touched the store bought salsa with this around (take that, Pace!). I call that a keeper!
We love this recipe, and the freshness can't be beat! The quantities above are just estimates; if you want hotter salsa, go for an extra jalapeno; if you want to be crazy, try adding in some mango for sweetness. This is your rooster's beak, you make it how you want it! Also, keep in mind that as your salsa fresca sits and all those tasty flavors meld, the intensity of the salsa will increase. In other words, if you thought your salsa was hot on the first day, be careful if you have left overs on the next! But, this has never been a problem for us; I am only slightly embarrassed to say that we've never had any leftovers of this pico to worry about....
What are your favorite salsa fresca flavors? Any tips or ideas to amp up the recipe and make it turn a new leaf? Anyone out there know why fresh salsa is also called rooster's beak? I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time!